For what it's worth, my personal impression of the Razorback was mixed.
It's a specialized knife designed for a specific type of strategy. Plainly put, it's optimized for someone to stab, twist, and withdraw, producing what Ayoob describes as a wound similar to a shotgun blast.
First, a knife like this assumes the following: A good defense is a good offense. The best way to stop your attacker is to do as much damage as possible with the least amount of effort. Whether you agree with this or not is up to you.
Assuming, however, that you accept this strategy, when you work with small blades, stabbing is the name of the game. And if you want to maximize the stab, you'll have to twist the blade.
When you twist the blade, several things can happen. Your blade can get jammed against bone. Your blade might not even turn at all if it's too broad. Hence the reason why the the blade is so thin in terms of width.
But because it is so thin, the blade might break too easily under pressure. To compensate, he made the blade bigger in terms of thickness.
Following conventional wisdom, a tanto tip and blood grooves were added to help optimize the stab. I can see why he chose the tanto tip. It's a compromise between tip strength and piercing abilities. And with a knife specialized for stabbing, this becomes an especially important issue. A thicker blade may be harder to stab, but the razorback is also a slender blade. I'm sure this is a controversial point, but I assume that it doesn't have any problems stabbing. At least it didn't seem like it to me.
I suppose for the sake of balance, the handle had to be roughly as slender as the blade itself. With a slender handle, I suppose the best way to get good indexing would be the saber grip. To be fair, the Razorback does have good retention for such a small handle. This ability is further enhanced when they added grooves.
My concern with a blade like this, however, is in the handle itself. See, the main strength of the strategy hinges on the ability to twist your knife. The slender handle is made of slippery metal. I question just how well a blade like that can twist when the hand is covered with sweat and maybe blood? Instead, I would have suggested to drastically bend the handle down after the second finger groove. To do so will give your last two fingers sort of a turning handle. The piercing would not be affected as the first finger against the lower guard does most of the work. In fact, if anything, this modification might actually enhance the knife's stabbing ability. While we're at it, they should probably increase the lower guard.
Another problem I have with the handle design is that it is so doggedly dependant on the saber grip to stay in place. Well, if you manage to stab someone and hit bone, keys, belt buckle, or whatever else that's harder than flesh, there's a very good chance your thumb might slip. If the thumb slips, you lose the support with your first finger. Lose that and you don't have a stab, especially with a metal handle with a barely adequate lower guard like this. That's bad because if you can't stab with a knife specifically designed to stab, you're in deep doo-doo.
Again, a drastic crook in the handle would have alleviated much of that problem, because when your grip slips, your hand will slip into more of a hammer grip to compensate. If you manage to stab at all, this is why. With the crook, you're already in a hammer-like grip while still allow a reasonable degree of indexing. That's good because the hammer grip is less likely to slip. I forgot to mention how important it is to maintain a saber-like grip to index. The blade is specifically designed to drill, and you'll need the index to pull it off.
And here's something else to think about: Slender metal handle + Saber grip = Easy disarm?
When it's all said and done, we still have to ask ourselves the following question, "Do we really want a knife that utilizes this specific type of strategy?" That's something we each have to decide for ourselves.
Maybe I'm being too critical. I like the Razorback just fine, and I love the sheath. It's just not my cup of tea.
[This message has been edited by SB (edited 06 June 1999).]